AMD shows the Radeon RX 6700 XT outpacing Nvidia's RTX 3070 in selected games

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD has officially unveiled the speeds and feeds of its latest GPU, the Radeon RX 6700 XT. It transpires that the rumours were right on this one, and there's only a single GPU on the way, not the usual XT and non-XT variants. AMD also provided a few benchmarks to get our heads around. 

The first slide to feature benchmarks had comparisons against the GTX 1070 Ti and the RTX 20870 Super, which had us worried about how it would fair against more recent releases, but thankfully it quickly followed this up with comparisons to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and the RTX 3070

(Image credit: AMD)

That first slide does show how far we've come though, and AMD is at least definitely in the game at this stage. The fact it has a GPU that can beat the RTX 2080 Super at 1440p is nothing to be sniffed at.

(Image credit: AMD)

When it comes to the more up-to-date graphics cards, things look fairly healthy, although we'd recommend the usual pinch of sodium chloride, as AMD may have cherry-picked these games to some extent. Not totally though, because the RX 6700 XT doesn't win every battle—a reassuring sign that AMD isn't trying to pull too much of a fast one.

That Watch Dogs Legions performance isn't particularly impressive, coming in lower than the RTX 3060 Ti, let alone the closer-priced RTX 3070. You could argue that hitting 62 fps is still good enough, but then being beaten by a $399 card really isn't good enough. Gears 5 and Cyberpunk 2077 also has the 6700 XT below the performance of the RTX 3070. 

The rest of the tests all seem pretty reasonable, although we'll have to see how it does in our own tests. There are clear leads in Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Dirt 5, but things are much tighter elsewhere. The fact that AMD feels it needs to include the RTX 3060 Ti in the tests is telling. 

The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT looks like it sits somewhere between the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070. If there are enough wins against the RTX 3070 it could make sense of its $479 price tag, although it lacks the better ray tracing and DLSS of Nvidia's cards, and that still makes it something of a hard sell.

Your next upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

Best CPU for gaming: the top chips from Intel and AMD
Best graphics card: your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming: get into the game ahead of the rest

At the end of the slide deck, AMD reveals that the testing was done on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, 16GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, ASRock X570 Taichi motherboard, running Windows 10 Pro. Both of the Nvidia cards were tested using the 461.40 driver, which was up-to-date at the time of the testing on Feb 18, although since then there has been an update to 461.72. Nothing obviously wrong there are least.

One thing of note from the specs is the amount of Infinity Cache present. Infinity Cache is the standout feature of the RDNA 2 GPUs so far, so it's good to see that AMD hasn't just cut the amount of cache in half to line up with the 50-percent reduction in CUs. Coming in at 96MB, this will hopefully be enough to keep the new GPU in the game. 

We'll find out for sure when we get our hands on the new cards, so you'll be able to make an informed decision about which card you can't buy on March 18. 

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.